Capital Cities at Pyramid’s 16th Annual Snow Cap Party 12/7

Capital Cities performed at Pyramid Brewery's 16th Annual Snow Cap Party as fans dance the night away under the outdoor igloo tent.

Posted by Johannah Juarez on December 16th, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Holiday parties are meant for schmoozing up to supervisors. They are mental battles between you and those once-a-year treats.


They are endless dance parties, where bountiful supplies of alcohol help shed layers of professionalism between coworkers and strangers alike.

Pyramid’s 16th Annual Snow Cap Party leaned toward the latter this past weekend, as Capital Cites and Leagues headlined the alehouse’s annual winter festivities in support of their seasonal Snow Cap Brew.

The event took place outside in an igloo-like tent stretching the span of Pyramid Alehouse’s entire back parking lot. As the clock struck 8 o’ clock, I whipped out my phone – 23 degrees out. Yep, sounds about right. Attendees zipped their coats up past their noses. Pyramid Snow Cap hats were going for a whopping $20 like wildfire. Thankfully, as groups flooded into the tent, the winter chill subsided.

Party goers seemed well seasoned in practice. They entered, made a B-Line for the beer, hung out by the tables or took group pictures at the photo booth, then moseyed into the center of the tent to wait for the music. As people staggered into the igloo, the energy seemed palpable in the air. I felt cozy just standing next to so many beer blankets.

Then the live music came on. Let’s talk about Leagues for a minute. The opening band for the night, they apparently got their spot on the bill for their song’s appearance in the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black. The event producer happened to be watching the show one night when she fell in love with the music from some scene X.

Everyone has Netflix to thank for this one. The group was an eye opener for more than just the event producer. Many people seemed unfamiliar with Leagues but by the end of their performance crowd goers bobbed their heads in approval. They were all smiles, pleasantly surprised by the lively performance.

By the time Gregor from 107.7 The End stepped onstage to announce Capital Cities, the tent had filled with people double fisting cups of seasonal brew in anticipation.

Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian dropped the beat to “Kangaroo Court” and the crowd went wild. Circles of conversation that had been in full swing before the music quickly turned into dance parties. I walked by group and groups of happy dancers in the back of the tent. As I made my way to the front, attendees turned inward toward the stage, abandoning the exclusivity of their peanut gangs to sing along with Capital Cities.

Capital Cities’ trumpeter Spencer Ludwig stole the night. His solos climbed up unknown scales. He held the notes at the top of the mountain, and then smoothly skied down them. An astonished crowd finally stripped themselves of their jackets and scarves in return.

About halfway through the performance Sebu Simonian rallied the already overjoyed crowd, “This song is about things that are undeniably good. Like, Daniel Day Lewis…and Back to the Future…2,” the crowd roared in agreement. As they transitioned into playing “Farrah Fawcett Hair,” the snarky voice-overs chimed in more irrefutable good things like, “Nutella,” and “Michael Jackson Thriller.” Multiple recorded voices continued on, “I like it when I’m sleeping,” and “I like it when you play with my hair,” repeatedly. Why wasn’t this one their breakthrough hit?

Simonian and Merchant played much of their debut album In A Tidal Wave of Mystery. They also dropped a few disco classics like “Staying Alive,” to an entranced tent of patrons excited by just about any song choice.

Of course, arguably the most animated part to the night occurred when Capital Cities dropped “Safe and Sound.” This was the Christmas caroling segment of Pyramid’s holiday party. The choir, a couple thousand strong, boasted the chorus. Strangers hugged one another, splashed beer on each other, and bounced up and down in unison.

The performance trailed off. At the end of the night Capital Cities played a produced rendition of “Safe and Sound” and invited fans up to the stage to dance. The band meshed right into the party. This could have been confusing, depending on just how thick you tried to make your beer jacket for the night. The transition fazed very few people as they continued dancing and hugging to the beats.

It seemed like a perfect fit – the right band for the right kind of party. From recent college grads to mid-40s couples and their neighbors, the Snow Cap Party attracts a plethora of different palates. And Capital Cities certainly didn’t disappoint. I’m not quite sure of another band able to capture such a wide-ranging scope of Seattleites, all laughing, all dancing. The 17th annual Snow Cap Party sure has something to live up to.